Principles Regarding Uninsured Patients
Many Arkansans today are unfortunately without adequate health insurance and, as a result, growing numbers are facing difficulties in paying for medical care. Consistent with its mission and core values, CHI St. Vincent strives to compassionately serve uninsured patients with an appreciation for the financial burdens they may face. CHI St. Vincent supports and advocates for meaningful and appropriate changes in legislation that improve access to affordable, quality medical care for the uninsured.
CHI St. Vincent Health System will treat uninsured patients in the following manner:
- Uninsured patients will be treated fairly and with respect before, during and after treatment, regardless of their ability to pay.
- Uninsured patients will be provided with financial counseling, including assistance applying for local, state and federal health care programs such as Medicare, Medicaid.
- Uninsured patients will be informed of and assisted in applying for charity care available through CHI St. Vincent.
- Financial counselors will attempt to meet with all uninsured patients prior to discharge from the hospital.
- Patients are encouraged to contact CHI St. Vincent after receiving a billing statement. Financial counselors are available to answer questions and offer guidance, in person or via the telephone.
- Uninsured patients, when applicable, will be offered reasonable payment schedules as part of the financial counseling process.
- A customer service center is available so that patients may speak to an individual who can help them with questions regarding their bills and financial obligations. Phone numbers are prominently displayed on all billing correspondence.
- Hospital-based physicians and related entities will be encouraged to follow the CHI St. Vincent principles regarding uninsured patients, outlined here.
- CHI St. Vincent will continue to utilize a charity discount schedule that takes into account HUD Very Low Income Guidelines to aid in the qualification of patients seeking assistance in meeting their financial obligations
CHI St. Vincent will not engage in the following activities:
- CHI St. Vincent will not pursue legal action for nonpayment of hospital bills against any patient who has responsibly worked with CHI St. Vincent to demonstrate his or her inability to pay and who is unemployed or otherwise financially unable to pay.
- CHI St. Vincent will not pursue legal action for nonpayment if the only way to collect payment would be to place a lien on the patient’s home.
CHI St. Vincent always has distinguished itself in its treatment of the uninsured:
- CHI St. Vincent Health System hospitals will continue to treat patients requiring emergency care without regard to the patient’s ability to pay. All patients will be triaged and treated in accordance with St. Vincent's emergency service policy.
- CHI St. Vincent has provided numerous outreach programs to the community in its pursuit of healthy communities and constantly seeks opportunities to advance its health care ministry through the extension of care to undeserved populations.
- CHI St. Vincent will continue to work for increased access and coverage for the uninsured through legislative and community advocacy.
- It is the practice of CHI St. Vincent not to pursue legal action for nonpayment unless it has first examined the patient’s eligibility for other assistance or charity care.
- Every patient, when billed for their care, is notified that if they can not pay their bill in full they should make that known using the contact information provided on the billing statement. When that is done, personalized assistance is willingly provided.
- Any patient who has a question about their bill or their financial obligation to CHI St. Vincent is encouraged to call 552-3150 and speak with a CHI St. Vincent Customer Service representative.